The Modern Elopement
The modern elopement
When you think of eloping the first thing that might come to mind is to ‘run away and get married’, and historically, this is exactly what is has meant (usually running off secretly and without parental consent!)… escape, flee, run away…
While big weddings are still the most popular way to go these days, eloping is not at all uncommon or as ‘taboo’ as it used to be.
The idea of escaping the wedding stress to a tropical, far away paradise, or sharing the moment in the registry office appeals to most couples at some point throughout the wedding planning process, but what a modern elopement is really about foregoing the big, elaborate event, and focussing on what is most important detail of any wedding; you and your love for each other. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean disappearing to a faraway land (people even choose to elope in little ol’ Adelaide!!), it doesn’t mean there is no wedding (you can still have the dress, the flowers, the photos) and it definitely doesn’t mean that you can’t share your special day with your friends and family.
Sarah, owner/operator of Little Car Photography, and co-founder and photographer of Our Wild Love Elopements shared her thoughts on eloping,
“Essentially, a modern elopement is about paring your wedding day back to include just those people and those things which are most important to you when it comes to promising your love and lives to each other. That's what I love most. It helps you to really focus on what this day is about, and removes the pressure from the other little things which are nice, but can distract you from the special meaning of your day.”
Why might a couple choose to elope?
To escape the stress
Big weddings can come with a lot of big stresses. While there are some couples who manage to pull off the most elaborate of weddings with the greatest of ease, a number of brides and grooms find the planning process and the day somewhat overwhelming.
Eloping eliminates a majority of these worries, and strips everything back to just the most important aspects of getting married.
An elopement is your own special adventure. Whether you decide on a clifftop lookout, rugged coastline, your favourite winery, intimate garden or hidden away in rustic bushland there are an endless number of unique locations to say your vows and after your ceremony you can start your married life on an adventure through your surroundings.
It’s more than ‘just the legals’
Choosing a registry or 'registry style' wedding you are likely restricted in the personal touches you can add to your ceremony. It may be decided for you where you will be married, allocated a time slot, and say your 'I do's', with the next couple lined up and ready to jump in for their turn once you are done.
Eloping, however, allows you to choose your location, create a personal and meaningful ceremony and the chance to capture all of those special moments and memories of your wedding day. You might decide against the big wedding, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a loving, personal and memorable ceremony and the gorgeous backdrop and photos to go with it!
It is cost effective
“We want to buy a house!”, “We want to travel!”, “We want to start a family!”. Mortgage payments, car payments, credit card payments, bills, bills, bills. Weddings are not the only things that are expensive these days!
With the average Australian wedding costing well over $30,000, couples are having to decide between the house, the honeymoon, starting their family, or the big wedding. An elopement will only cost a fraction of the price of a big wedding, and still include those things most important to you!
So, how do you pull off the perfect elopement and create the most amazing and memorable experience?
The couple – remember, it is about you! Do it your own way!
The people – share the moment with those who mean the most to you, keep it small, and don’t feel obligated or guilty about thinking about YOU on YOUR wedding day.
The place – pick somewhere you love! Sarah says “my favourites tend to be in the hills, country or beside the rocky southern coastline. At a private farm or expansive bed and breakfast, where the natural and unruly plains are your backdrop, free from public view or visitors. It's just about you, your guests, and the stunning scenery.”
The words – have a personalised ceremony! Your ceremony should reflect you, and your love for each other, and being able to choose your celebrant, a celebrant who listens and who ‘gets’ you, is very important in such an intimate setting.
The memories – don’t skimp on the photos! Your wedding, no matter how big or small should be captured to share for years and generations to come.
“An elopement is free and easy, just like my photography style! So, I think it blends really well for me. The day flows so nicely, there's no pressure on anyone to be anywhere or do anything at very specific times. For both me and the couple the day feels easy, calm and free. I also love that we can visit a huge number of gorgeous places for both the ceremony and portraits, which might otherwise be out of reach to a larger wedding.”
And the last word from Sarah…
“Keep things as simple and easy as you can by focusing purely on the things you LOVE and that matter most to you. Choose a place that speaks to you, either because it's one that you love, or one that takes its breath away with its beauty. Have your favourite people only with you on the day (even if that's only each other. Or your bestie. Or your mum and dad.) You can always celebrate with your extended loved ones and friends later at a big party if you're worried people might feel left out. Make sure you include the things you've dreamed of for your wedding day. Just because you're eloping doesn't mean you can't have a gigantic bouquet or the perfect dress or a spiffy new suit. Just do what you want to do, knowing it will be easy because you will love everything you're involving. Not to mention, you CAN spend that little bit extra on your dress or celebratory champagne because elopements are much, much cheaper.
Thinking of eloping in South Australia?
*Warning* Shameless plug and self-promotion!!
Be sure to check out Our Wild Love Elopements. Together, Sarah and I specialise in creating relaxed, real and intimate elopement wedding experiences that capture your personality, your unique love story, and those real, raw emotions on your wedding day. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for plenty of elopement inspiration and stories of the couples who run away and get married with us!